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Mobile App User Acquisition Strategies - Launch & Growth


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This presentation on Mobile app marketing covers user acquisition strategies for launch and growth stage. Detailed info on user acquition - campaign planning, incent vs. non-incent, network selection, creative planning and testing, buying models, programmatic buying for mobile, campaign performance and analytics.

I presented this at NASSCOM Game Developers Conference ( NGDC 2015 ) in Pune, representing [x]cube LABS.

Published in: Mobile
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Mobile App User Acquisition Strategies - Launch & Growth

  1. 1. User Acquisition –Launch & Growth Strategies Saptarshi Roy Chaudhury
  2. 2. You Built it, Now What ? Be prepared before this question hits you
  3. 3. Do you have a launch date? ”As soon as it’s ready” – is not a good answer
  4. 4. Your Launch Arsenal PR, Social Media, App Reviews, Ads..
  5. 5. Getting Your PR Tool Kit • App Name • App URL • Promo Code : if it’s a paid app • Short App Description • Bullet list of key feature set ( if you have really compelling ones) • Elaborate description of your app • Elaboration on what a great developer/designer/ visionary you are What to Include : What not to Include : • Screens • Video trailer, if you have one • Launch Date, if not launched already • Short company profile • Contact info
  6. 6. Don’t Pitch the App, Pitch the Story • Research about the site you are pitching and preferably about the journalist. Try to find something common, may be any game he has covered on same genre • Find out the nature of stories the site does and work on how you can build a similar story for your game • Time your pitch – the longer your game is on the store, the lesser are your chances • Share your story – anybody can write about the game, people are more interested to write about the story • Invest in building relations – you might not need them now, but this will work miracle when you need them Beyond the tool kit..
  7. 7. The Holy Grail • Well Known IP • Prior Success • Pre-Launch PR • Available Regions • Languages supported Not to mention.. A great game ! getting featured by Google / Apple • Devices & Technology Supported ( Apple Watch etc) • Videos ( in Play Store) Factors That Help..
  8. 8. Increase your chances.. • Pitch early to the platforms • Meet reps at events – work on building relations • Ask your contacts if they would share your game • Submit through app support The Holy Grail getting featured by Google / Apple
  9. 9. App Review Sites good to have.. Don’t spend money on this, won’t drive many installs
  10. 10. Ads they are expensive, but they work! If done right..
  11. 11. The Launch – Snapshot • Plan the launch date and organize your marketing around it • Get the PR rolling • Invest in User Acquisition • Mix Quality + Incent • Get volume with burst campaigns • Measure KPI’s – attribute by source
  12. 12. Ads – doing it right • What type of users do you want • Have you done a detailed segmentation of your target audience ? • What type of networks do you want to use / would likely work for you • What ad formats do you want to use – Display, Native, Video .. • Is there a minimum audience base that you need to acquire to evaluate a channel • What is the maximum CPI you are willing to spend • Do you have an initial Volume and LTV projections ? • Do you have a strong attribution analytics in place ? • Are you tracking all the necessary events ? • Do you have your KPI’s in place ? • Do we have skills to manage campaigns in-house or need to outsource to an agency questions to ask..
  13. 13. To Burst or Not to Burst Burst Campaign Sustained Campaign You Need Them Both for the Best Results well planned & timed
  14. 14. Burst without Sustained Campaign
  15. 15. Burst with Sustained Campaign
  16. 16. Burst Campaign • The success of a burst campaign depends largely on planning and timing • Don’t rely on one or two network – get multiple networks in place, always have some backups in case one of your primary network fails • Don’t roll out all networks at once – stack up, this helps reduce duplication in ad serving and your audience doesn’t get exhausted too soon • Preferably run a non-incent, quality user campaign at the same time – helps average out retention rate and engagement metrics • If you decide to do burst go all the way, there is no point doing a half hearted one, it only kills your budget
  17. 17. Demographics Technology Network Creatives Behavior/Interest/Context CPI, CPC, CPE, CPM, Programmatic, Fixed price Analytics integration, attribution tracking, event tracking, behavioral analytics, KPI’s User Acquisition targeting buying measurement+ +
  18. 18. Targeting your audience Fans of Specific Star Trek Characters, e.g, Spock, Kirk Fans of Specific Star Trek Movies & TV series. E.g, Voyager, Deep Space Nine Fans of famous Star Trek actors, e.g, George Takei People who like similar games People who like/play strategy-Sim games How we did for Star Trek Trexels
  19. 19. Lookalikes and Replicating Targets • While the previous slide showed the core targeting pattern – we also leveraged lookalikes to reach wider audience. • We also studied the audience insights from Facebook on people who made in-app purchases and then tried to replicated the same targeting through DSPs
  20. 20. And the results.. Targeting Clicks App Installs Conv. Rate Star Trek Fans 24864 6013 24.18% ST TV Series 22023 5249 23.83% ST Character 33482 5691 17.00% ST Actors 34273 5209 15.20% Similar Games 4304 201 4.67% Strategy-Sim 4692 242 5.16% Lookalike 29631 12922 43.61%
  21. 21. Where to get users Ad Networks DSPs Social Networks Others Facebook, Twitter Free App A Day , Cross Promotions Doubleclick Bid Manager, Trademob, Smaato, Appnexus, Pocketmath NativeX, Appia, Tapjoy, Inmobi, Chartboost, Admob, Vungle, Ad Colony, Unity, Leadboard, Airpush, Flurry, Millenial Media, AppLoving,
  22. 22. Selecting the right network Network Category/ Source of Inventory Display, Social Media, Affiliate, Direct publisher, Agency, cross promotion etc Targeting Capabilities Age, gender, country, device, OS, Interest, behavior etc Creative Capabilities Display, native, video, rich media etc Tracking & Measurement Integration with third party analytics platforms Others Transparency, Overlaps, API Access
  23. 23. Getting the Creatives Right creatives get stale over time and stops performing Data is your friend ! • Test themes • Test CTA • Test characters ( for games) • Test copies Test
  24. 24. Buying Model Pros Cons CPE CPI CPC CPM Ideal for driving specific action, e.g, registration, lesser risk of overspending Limited control on quality of users Predictable cost of acquisition, lesser risk Limited control on quality of installs, Limited user behavior tracking Could lead to better quality users, more insightful for campaign optimization, can be cheaper than CPI if optimized properly Needs highly skilled optimization team to maximize clicks to conversion, generally spend more than CPI campaigns Ideal for brand advertisers, rich media and video ads, full creative control, rich events & behavioral data Not an ideal model for driving installs Buying
  25. 25. Buying • Programmatic is the big word – but is it right for you ?
  26. 26. Pros • More Inventory / Increased Reach • Highly data driven • Precise targeting • Real time optimization • Cost effective in long run with proper optimization Cons • Could lead to questionable ad placements • Higher demand for budget • Needs more technical sophistication • Is Programmatic right for you? Buying
  27. 27. Measurement
  28. 28. Behavioral Metrics Financial Metrics • Retention : D1, D7, D30, D90 • No. of Sessions/ user • Avg. Session Length • Completion of specific events ( Nth level , completion of tutorial etc) • ARPDAU • Conversion Rate • eCPI • ROI = ARPU(nthDay) /CPI Measurement • What to measure ? • Don’t get overwhelmed with the data flood..look at what matters
  29. 29. Then came Retargeting.. Increased retention & 30% increase in LTV
  30. 30. How can Retargeting Help • Convert Idle users to Active users • Convert non-paying users to paying customers • Offers for existing paid customers
  31. 31. Before Retargeting.. • Totally understand the game and the flow • Know the game KPIs • Deep dive into user behavior
  32. 32. Approach to Retargeting.. Analyze user behavior Segment into smaller buckets Campaigns with customized message for each segment
  33. 33. Some real data.. 20% of these churn were recovered using retargeting Level 1 (churn/active/unknown ) Level 2 (churn/active/unknown ) Level 3 (churn/active/unknown ) Level 4 (churn/active/unknown ) Level 5 (churn/active/unknown ) 24% Churn on Level One , whereas the other levels have relatively low Churn 900 / 1021 /500 24% / 28% /14% 89 / 117 / 56 2% / 3% / 2% 81 / 173 / 68 2% / 5% / 2% 34 / 91 / 32 1% / 2% / 1% 30 / 97 / 28 1% / 3% / 1%
  34. 34. Retargeting for Star Trek Trexels Total Users IAPVersion Version Latest Version Old Version Latest Version Old Version YES NO
  35. 35. Some more data.. STT Retargeting Total Targeted Users Ad Reached Ad Reached Percentage Avg. CPC Total Amount Spent Total No. of Converted users Conversion Percentage IAP from Converted users 73200 36762 50.22% 0.03 $313.65 16589 45.13% 3147.18
  36. 36. Retargeting channels • Global Push Notifications • Users can turn off push notification • Digital / Mobile Advertising • Facebook • Twitter • Google Adwords • DBM • Third Party networks
  37. 37. Reach Percentage • Most often you cannot reach 100% of your audience base. The more number of networks you use and the more IDs you have, the higher is your reach. Retargeting challenge
  38. 38. Retargeting • Analyzed user behaviour in depth to identify drop-offs and non converting users • Segmented total user base into smaller groups based on user behaviour, acquisition source, geography, version • Created specific messaging and creatives for each of the segments • Used Deep Linking • Used multiple channels at once to increase reach things we did right..
  39. 39. WWW.UPSHOT.AI
  40. 40. Takeaway Launch • Plan your marketing initiatives well in advance • Ensure all marketing guns fire at the same time on launch • Create a compelling story to pitch for press • Don’t be shy to reach out to platforms, if your app is good enough to be featured • Don’t spend money on app reviews, invest in ads
  41. 41. Takeaway User Acquisition • Clarity is needed – Create your checklist of questions and make sure you have clear answers to all of them • If doing a Burst campaign, ensure you have everything planned to the T and you are fully committed to it. Don’t do a burst campaign if you have limited budget. • Always follow up burst campaigns with sustained quality user campaigns • Optimize Everything : Network, Audience, Creatives, Bid etc • Validate networks : establish a validation process • Test Creatives and test some more • Buy wisely – programmatic is great but not always • Use Retargeting • Be data driven – but be selective .
  42. 42. Thank You Saptarshi Roy Chaudhury - @rishi3211us -